Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Job 10

This passage should be read with Psalm 139 and the prior one should be read with Psalm 39. How could I have come to the psalms without Job or to Job without the psalms? Where we had sarcasm, we now have tender appeal.

Other translations are filled with conditional and modal verbs. They may be right! When he says here that he 'abandons his complaint', I hear him giving up - going on to the grave - so he can invite God back into the tenderness he exhibited by creating Job. It is a remarkable turn about but though it hints at tenderness in God, it is not successful in uncovering the problem which we readers are aware of from the prologue, or achieving a relenting from the Most High - not yet anyway.

My colouring is spotty but slightly suggestive of theme and frame - the only frame word is 'shine'.

It is moot how one approaches the character of Job - how can one identify with the upright who fears God and turns from evil? Look at this one verse:

but there is not from your hand a rescue
Is this positive or negative? Once in your hand, there is no rescue out of your hand - or I do not see rescue coming by means of your hand? Most people translate and read it negatively as if God is an ogre. But I don't see why in this case it should be negative - except by absence of effect - i.e God does not will it rather than no one else is strong enough to effect a rescue with God as enemy. Attitude is an intriguing problem for a reader.

My being is grieved with my life
I abandon for me my complaint
I speak in the misery of my being
I say to God - do not condemn me
Let me know why you contend with me
Is it good to you that you oppress
that you refuse the labour of your open palms
and shine on the counsel of the wicked?

Eyes of flesh have you
that you see as a mortal sees?
Are your days as the days of a mortal
that your years be as the days of a warrior
that you search my iniquity
and my sin seek out?

In your knowledge I am not wicked
but there is not from your hand a rescue
your hands shaped me and made me
together on every side yet you swallow me
Remember please that as clay you made me
and to the dust you will bring me

Have you not as milk poured me out
and as cheese curdled me
skin and flesh - you clothed me
and with bones and sinews you hedged me
life and loving-kindness- you made for me
and your visit - you watch my spirit
and these things you treasured in your heart
I know this is with you

If I have sinned, you watch me
and from my iniquity you will not acquit me
If I am wicked - woe to me
and just - I will not lift up my head
sated of confusion so you see my affliction
As proud as the aged beast you hunt
you return demonstrating wonders with me

you renew your witnesses before me
and multiply your indignation against me
changes and a host are upon me
so why from the womb did you bring me forth?
I expire and no eye will see me
As if I had not come from the belly
to the tomb I am being conducted

are not they few - my days?
Cease your fixation from me and let me smile a little
before I go and not return
to the land of darkness and obscurity
a land of faintness and like the gloom of obscurity
without order and the shining is like gloom

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